A key component of Special Forces Operational Detachment "A"s (SFODA) being able to perform their mission is to get to where they need to go to do the mission. In many cases this involves a means of infiltration whether by vehicle, on foot, from the air (airdrop or air landing), or by sea.
Airdrops by parachute is a primary means of infiltration for SF ODAs. A pre-requisite for Special Forces is to be Airborne qualified. Fort Benning, Georgia conducts the three-week long Airborne School. The first week is Ground Week, the second Tower Week, and the third is Jump Week where the course culminates in the students conducting five parachute jumps.
The parachute jumping continues throughout the SF students training and his entire SF career. Most SF Soldiers average 5-15 parachute jumps a year. Some many more jumps each year.
US Army Airborne School. by WikipediA.
The Military Free Fall course will soon be part of the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC). Future plans are that all SF trainees will attend the MFF course over the next few years. 1.
Green Berets are also trained in the conduct of airborne operations in a maritime environment; an operation more commonly referred to as 'water jumps'.
All airborne units have Jumpmasters who plan, coordinate, and supervise airborne operations. To be a qualified jumpmaster you need to graduate from an Army Jumpmaster course.
Read more about a Jumpmaster Course in "Jumpmaster
Course Offers New Training Opportunity", Washington National Guard, August
3/20th Airborne Training Jump. This video
shows 3/20th SFGA (Florida) conducting a helicopter static line parachute
jump on 7 Feb 2013.
Night Combat Equipment Jump with Ramp Bundle. 19th SFGA (California)
conducts a parachute jump.
What does it look like and sound like jumping from a helicopter? Watch
this video of a 20th SFGA jump at Fort Harrison, Montana in June 2008.
Video was taken by a jumper as he exited off the ramp of a CH-47.
197th Special Troop Company and 19th SFGA conduct day, ramp C-130H
Hercules combat equipment jump in Utah.
Military Free Fall Train-up. View a video of 20th SFGA Soldiers performing
a HALO jump in preparation for an upcoming training exercise, Sep 11,
C-23 Sherpa Jump by 19th SFGA Utah Army National Guard. Includes video of
jumper with helmet cam.
Military Free Fall. 20th SFGA Soldiers jumping from aircraft. March
Military Freefall School HALO. Video of Air Force CCTs attending Army Free
Fall School at FBNC and Yuma Proving Grounds.
Maryland 20th SF National Guard conducts free fall parachute jump from
C-27J Spartan aircraft. November 21, 2011.
C/5/19th SFGA from Texas National Guard (Camp Bullis) conduct water jump
at Canyon Lake (Aug 14, 2010).
Florida 20th SFGA conducts day water jump from C-130. 5 minute video shows
some of the coordination and planning needed for water jump.
Video of various jumps by 19th SFGA at DZ Ashau, Camp Williams, Utah.
Mississippi 20th SFGA exit CH-47 on ramp parachute jump.
19th SFGA water jump from UH-60 Corpus Christi, Texas 20 Aug
19th SFGA (California) HALO Jump - Nov 2010.
Texas Army National Guard C-17 Jump - May 2011.
Static Line Jump from Chinook CH-47 at Rhode Island International
In addition to staying proficient in airborne operations for their own infiltration capability Special Forces Operational Detachments conduct airborne training for and with other nations.
Special Forces Airborne Training (1969). This
video depicts SF trainers providing parachute training to CIDG Troops in
B/1/20th, in this video, conducts joint
parachute operation with Moldovan Special Forces in February 2013 in North
1. For more on MFFPC incorporation into SFQC see
"Special Forces Qualification course to incorporate military free-fall
training", Special Warfare Magazine, January - March 2013,
Volumen 26, Issue 1, page 6.
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